Serving Cape Breton Regional Municipality and Victoria County since 1950

Book Clubs

book and dark coffee

CBRL Book Clubs = “Book Club in a Bag”

CBRL offers Book Club sets thanks to the support of the New Horizons for Seniors program, and generous donations from patrons.
We have attracted so many new book clubs who wish to use our Book Club sets that now we are happy to introduce our new…
… “Book Club in a Bag” system!

Book Club in a Bag
 titles are available to:

            Registered Seniors Book Clubs that meet in various CBRL branches, and to
            Registered Community Book Clubs across the region, whether seniors or not.

There are now about 200 titles available in sets of 10 print copies per Bag.
An on-line Book List is available with links to the library catalogue and reviews on Goodreads.

Many of these titles are also available as eBooks, audiobooks, CD books, or in Large Print for those who prefer those formats.  A Booklist with available formats is also available to print.


Community Book Clubs

  • If you are part of an existing community or private book club, or wish to start one that meets in members’ homes or in the community, you can access Book Club in a Bag titles on an ongoing or intermittent basis by registering your club with the Library.
  • To register a club, fill out a Book Club Registration Form and take it to your local library branch.
  • All members of the club must have a CBRL membership card (they are free!).
  • Obtain a copy of the Book List pdf (link above), or consult the online Book List with links to descriptions and reviews (link above).
  • Community Book Clubs are encouraged to keep a Wish List of desired titles.
  • Community Book Clubs can put a hold on an AVAILABLE title several (3-6) weeks before they require it to ensure timely delivery.
  • To place a hold, click on the on-line Book List link above, check that the desired Bag is available and if so, place a hold on it in the online catalog.  Alternatively, you can start from the main page and search for the desired title, then scan down the catalog to find the “Book Club in a Bag” record (or as a short cut, search with one or two significant words from the title and the word “bag” – this will filter the search quicker).
  • Put a hold on one title per month and only if the Bag for this title is AVAILABLE (“ Copies available at:” shows above the Book Club in a Bag record on the website).
  • If a desired title is not available (that is, if the Bag is on hold, in transit or checked out, or “X – Copies in use” shows above the record on the website), choose another title from your wish list – DO NOT put a hold on an unavailable Bag!
  • One member picks up and checks out the “Book Club in a Bag” (including the Bag and all copies enclosed) on their card and is responsible for any late fees.
  • A Tracking Sheet is available to help you keep track of who has each book in the set. They are available here or at your branch.
  • The loans are for 6 weeks with no renewals, and all books and the Bag must be returned together.

Seniors Book Clubs

  • Seniors Book Clubs meet in CBRL branches.
  • Branch staff put the hold on a “Book Club in a Bag” title for each Book Club, so that a Bag arrives at the branch in time for the club’s meeting for distribution.
  • Members of Seniors Book Clubs check out their own individual copies from the Bag on their own card, and are responsible for any late fees.
  • The Bag remains at the branch.
  • There are no renewals.
  • Most Seniors Book Clubs meet every 4 weeks, occasionally 5 weeks if they meet on a certain day each month.  The next meeting date will be written in the back of the books at check out.

Clubs Served by Bookmobiles:

Bookmobile book clubs may be either Seniors Book Clubs, or Community Book Clubs, but since Bookmobiles visit each stop every 4 weeks, Book Club in a Bag sets will be checked out for 4 weeks. 

**If you have any questions, please contact your local branch or bookmobile.